Laura's Law could require court-ordered mental health care in Santa Clara

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Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Santa Clara Supervisors to vote on court-ordered mental health care
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The Santa Clara Co. Board of Supervisors will vote Tuesday on whether to opt in to Laura's Law, which would mandate court-ordered mental health care.

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors will vote today on whether to opt in or out of Laura's Law.

Advocates say it provides court-ordered mental health care to those who need it most.

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"Laura's Law aims to take care of a targeted subset of people," said Matt Mahan. "Individuals suffering from mental illness who have experienced repeated visits to jail cells and emergency rooms, yet continue to refuse the treatment they need."

Advocates say many of those individuals who've repeatedly refused help do not have the ability to recognize their own conditions.

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20 California counties, including four in the Bay Area, have opted in to Laura's Law.

The legislation was named after 19-year-old Laura Wilcox of Nevada County.

She was shot and killed in 2001 by someone with a history of mental health issues.